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Video shows pedestrian accident deaths to cabbies and others

The city is taking a new approach to the problem of pedestrian injuries and deaths on the New York streets. It is showing a gruesome video filled with real-life accidents in which pedestrian and bicycle riders are struck and mowed down by cars and trucks. Last week, New York cab drivers watched the video, including an interview of a mom who lost her 3-year-old daughter in a pedestrian accident when the girl was hit in a crosswalk in Flushing, Queens.

Another scene shows the death of a woman's husband when he was hit and killed by a NYPD tow truck while riding his bicycle. The city indicates that the video will be shown to 200,000 people who drive commercially or for the government. The video shows five different real-life cases of families losing a loved one in a pedestrian accident in the city.

According to cab drivers who watched it recently, it had a profound impact on them. The drivers said it will change how they drive. The film was developed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Seeing a mother lose her 3-year-old and hearing the woman's expressions of grief for losing that light in her life is in fact intensely moving, according to those who saw it and those who made the film. The authorities are trying to get the film incorporated into New York state driver training courses.

When a pedestrian or bicycle rider is killed in a pedestrian accident, there may be a wrongful death claim for monetary damages available to the immediate family of the decedent. A civil claim for wrongful death damages is based on negligence: if the driver was careless under the circumstances, and if that carelessness caused the victim's death, that can be adequate grounds to establish a valid claim for monetary damages. When a pedestrian is hit in a crosswalk, the chances of collecting full damages for the loss of life is increased considerably.  A driver must take special care to honor the right of pedestrians to use the crosswalk to navigate the streets.  

Source: CBS New York, "CBS2 Exclusive: Cabbies Powerfully Moved By Video About Pedestrian Fatalities", April 10, 2015

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